Matt Atlas

PM Babis Informs Zeman Of Intent To Expel Russian Diplomats

Britain, Miloš Zeman, NATO, Nerve Agent, Novichok, Prague, Putin, Russia, Russian Influence, Sergei Skripal, Trump

Brussels, March 23 (CTK) – Czech PM Andrej Babis has informed President Milos Zeman about the plan to expel some Russian diplomats from Prague over the use of a nerve poison in Britain, he said today at the close of the EU summit that shared Britain’s view that Russia is most probably responsible for the incident.


Nevertheless, Prague is not considering withdrawing its ambassador from Russia, Babis (ANO) told journalists.


The EU has withdrawn its ambassador from Moscow for consultations over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter by a military nerve substance in Salisbury on March 4.


Britain, on its part, has expelled 23 Russian diplomats whom it considered spies.


Moscow, which rejects Britain’s accusations, reacted by expelling the same number of diplomats from the British embassy in Moscow.


Earlier today, Babis told journalists that Prague is considering meeting the British request and expel several Russian diplomats. He wants to discuss the issue with Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) and possibly also with other members of the cabinet on Monday.


Babis said the EU summit agreed that member countries must react to the incident.


“We view it as solidarity with Britain,” he said.


He said the participants in the summit agreed to take time and discuss their respective countries’ reactions at home by next week.


“I have informed the president about the conclusions [of the summit], so that he knows it beforehand,” Babis said, but added that he did not talk to Zeman in person.


In the meantime, the Presidential Office announced that Zeman has invited Stropnicky for a meeting on Thursday.


Zeman, whom a Russian journalist recently labelled “our man” in Prague, has not commented on the Skripal case yet.


According to Babis, Russia is really behind the incident with “a high probability.”


“From our point of view we have no reason not to trust Britain. I consider this [expulsion of Russian diplomats] a step in support of our ally in NATO and the EU, who asked us to show solidarity with him and support him,” Babis said.